Thinking about what happened to me yesterday while answering a question, I was wondering whether the following would be considered acceptable for MsE policy or not.

Suppose that user A (the OP) asks a question and that user B answers it. Then, user A comments user B's answer and, looking for clarifications, he or she asks another question (I will call it CQ, "commented question") which is related to the original one, but has its own right to be considered even without the reference to the starting question. User B knows the answer to CQ and gives it in another comment, following the previous comment by the OP, user A.

Now, the point is: if user B deems CQ an interesting question, whose solution might prove useful also for someone else or for future references, is he or she allowed to ask CQ as an official question and then self-answer to it?

Thank you for your advice!

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    $\begingroup$ I see no issue here. It would be good practice to link to the original post in the question though. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Jul 7 '14 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, of course, I would definitely do so! $\endgroup$ – Marco Vergura Jul 7 '14 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ If I were B, I would first encourage A to post it as a new question. If A declines to do so, then I would feel justified in posting-and-answering it myself. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jul 8 '14 at 7:42

I agree with the sentiment Gerry Myerson made in the comments above.

Ideally, $A$ should post $CQ$ as a new question. If $A$ does not do so, $B$ should feel perfectly justified in creating a self-answered question.

Why should $A$ be the one to post $CQ$? Simply put, comments are not the right place to be asking stand-alone questions. If $B$ recommends $A$ to ask questions as a question (as opposed to a comment), then $B$ has helped train $A$ in the right way to use the site. If $B$ goes ahead and writes up $CQ$ themselves, then $A$ hasn't learned any better.

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    $\begingroup$ Very well, I think this is more than reasonable! $\endgroup$ – Marco Vergura Jul 9 '14 at 18:13

The site has a "self learner" badge for someone who asks a question, then answers their own question with three or more upvotes.

So this kind of behavior is encouraged on the site (up to a point).

The maximum benefit is derived if the "commented question" to linked to the original question.


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